The midweek ENews for those who missed it: about closure of public church gatherings, online church, prayer, community, finance and more...
St. Paul’s E-News 17th March 2020
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus and may His peace be with you. And my apologies for a fairly lengthy email – there is much to share.
Church Activity News
On Monday evening (last night) we held a church leadership meeting. The outcome of that meeting is that we have decided to immediately cease all meetings where members of the fellowship gather together under the auspices of St. Paul’s Church, with the exception of the youth group and the 18-30s Bible Study – both of which will cease if and when schools are closed.
This means that Toddler Group, Wednesday Special and Wednesday Worship are all stopping for now, along with Men Behaving Dadly, House Groups, Prayer meetings and all our worship services, including Sunday ministry (with children’s ministry) and Friday Feast. We are also postponing the church Annual General Meeting to a date yet to be decided. Grace Trust have also independently cancelled their Saturday lunches.
Because of this situation, will now be broadcasting a Sunday service online at 10.30am each week. This can be accessed from the church website front page; we will also aim to post a link on Facebook so that you can watch it at a later time if that works better for you.
We intend that service will include sung worship, a children’s ministry slot (just for them!), as well as prayers, a Bible reading and a short sermon.
Over the next couple of weeks we will also be rolling out more resources for different age groups and will let you know about them as they happen through email, Facebook and the website blog.
Prayer is of course vital, and to that end we want to offer the opportunity to receive prayer. We are therefore adding to the front webpage of St. Paul’s a prayer request form. This will go to the head of prayer who will share it with our team of dedicated pray-ers.
As mentioned earlier, we will also be starting a daily prayer time for the whole fellowship – as I said, a church that prays together is a powerful thing in God’s hands. We will be sending out a short prayer guide each day by email and on Facebook, which we aim to start next week. We will be sending it to all on the church’s database, and if you wish to unsubscribe please reply to that email.
One of the great strengths of St. Paul’s is it community – the church after all is not a building, but the people. What we are putting in place aims to help us stick together as the people of God; praying and worshipping Him, and loving one another and our neighbours.
We are also putting in place an initial phone call to every family in the church within the next 7 days to check that everyone is doing OK and with a couple of questions to ask you. Do let us know how you are, if there is anything we can do for you – and if you are able to help others too.
In these coming weeks and months St. Paul’s is of course going to continue to serve our Lord, Jesus Christ. That ministry will be shaped differently for the next little while, but as a community of God’s people we are continuing to serve Christ.
However, with church closed for the foreseeable future, there will be an impact on church finances as we are no longer able to receive giving through the box on a Sunday.
We appreciate that there is a great deal of uncertainty at the moment, including uncertainty around jobs and finances, but if you tend to give to St Paul’s through the box by cheque or cash, please consider the following alternatives:
1) Please mail cheques to the church office; these will then be banked. Address is St Paul’s Church, New Street, St Helier, Jersey, JE2 3RA.
2) Please give directly through internet banking. Our Account is: St Paul’s Church, Sort Code: 30-94-61, Account number: 03034080
3) if neither of these are appropriate you may also give through the Givt app (free to download from the usual app stores). Once registered, at any time you may open the app and tap in how much you want to give. The next page on the app offers you 4 different ways to give, and at present, while we are not worshipping in church, you go to the list and type in St Paul’s and St. Paul’s Jersey comes up. Tap on that and away you go!
We will also be shortly carrying out our annual exercise to recover tax on as many gifts as possible received in 2019 and earlier in some cases. We will post tax forms to home addresses so please sign the forms as soon as you can and post them back to us.
Thank you for your continuing generous support for the ministry of St Paul’s
Finally, if you have any ideas on how we can do church in these coming days, we would love to hear them, so please email me or the office or one of the staff team. This is Jesus’ church and we need every part of the body playing it’s part.
In 1 Kings 8 as the Ark of the Covenant is brought into the temple King Solomon prays. Part of what he prays is this:
37 “If there is a famine in the land or a plague or crop disease or attacks of locusts or caterpillars, or if your people’s enemies are in the land besieging their towns—whatever disaster or disease there is— 38 and if your people Israel pray about their troubles, raising their hands toward this Temple, 39 then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive.” (NLT)
Solomon pleads with God in his prayer that if a crisis, such as the one we are facing, falls upon the people of Israel if they were to pray he would hear their prayers. May we pray and may the Lord our God hear our prayers for ourselves and His world at this time.
Your brother in Christ,
Minister of St. Paul’s Church